Paint containers hang from scaffolding in a stand under construction at Eden Gardens Stadium in Kolkata on January 27, 2011. -Photo by AFP

KOLKATA: Former England captain Tony Greig likened the historic Eden Gardens to a ‘morgue’ when the India-West Indies Test match began with just 10,000 spectators in attendance while classy Indian batsman Rahul Dravid too felt that the old “magic” was missing at the venue on Monday.

The number of the fans increased gradually at the ground, specially when Sachin Tendulkar was batting, and according to official figures about 15,000 fans turned up on Monday.

Cricketer-turned-commentator Tony Greig described the historic venue as a “morgue” in a tweet. “Eden Gardens was one of my favourite grounds because of its wonderful atmosphere. Today it looks and sounds like a morgue,” the former English all-rounder wrote, blaming it on a Monday start.

“I remember when more than 80,000 used to rise on their feet and were roaring. It feels sad to see Eden like this,” wrote Greig.

Dravid, who scored a century in India’s first innings, though said it was not just India where fans are staying away from the game, the situation was same everywhere.

“I remember coming here in the 90s it was 100,000 people, 80,000 people watching a game of cricket. In some ways, it is little sad. But that’s the way it is. It is not only Kolkata it’s all over the world now. It’s becoming tougher and tougher to get people on to the ground. It’s the sad part,” Dravid said after end of the first day’s play.

He however said that the magic of Test cricket remains even as the Eden was no more the same.

“Not that the magic was not there but there was a magic about this ground when the atmosphere was electrifying with 80,000-100,000 people would be cheering,” Dravid lamented.—Agencies

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